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New environmental education guide for Latin America, Caribbean region on action for nature, climate and pollution

  • 26 of 30 nations in Latin America and the Caribbean include a focus on the environment at some level in primary school curricula.
  • The Environmental Education Resources Guide is launched and aims uptake from primary school teachers and environmental educators throughout the Latin America and Caribbean region.

A new tool aimed at reinforcing environmental education and was launched by The Environmental Education Network, an intergovernmental platform of environmental education in Latin America. The Environmental Education Resources Guide  is launched as part of Ecuador’s Environmental Education Week, organized by its Ministry of Environment, Water and Ecological Transition and the Ministry of Education in cooperation with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

The objective of the guide is to support primary school teachers and environmental educators with reference materials on the integration of environmental themes and concepts in formal and non-formal educational systems. The guide includes ten environmental thematic chapters: climate change, environmental education, water, air, soil, energy, sustainable consumption, biodiversity, waste management, and ecosystem restoration.

“It is our responsibility to take the first step to strengthen and adapt the processes of environmental education to our local reality. This will undoubtedly contribute to the active involvement of present and future generations in the protection and conservation of the environment" said Óscar Rojas, Vice-minister for Water at the Ministry of Environment, Water and Ecological Transition of Ecuador.

Addressing the triple planetary crisis of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss requires informing citizens and the young generation of the issues and available choices. To do so, investment in environmental education programmes, training and adaptable resources for teachers and trainers are key as they support the frontline of change in schools and communities.

“Despite increased global awareness of the climate, nature and pollution crisis and its impacts on society, this is not leading to transformational action and changes in behavior. This operational guide will improve the mindsets and skillsets so that nature and its linkages to sustainable development goals are increasingly mainstreamed into formal and non-formal education systems,” said Tomas Declercq, a UNEP Sustainable Consumption and Production and Consumer Information Officer and Coordinator of the Environmental Training Network.

Throughout 2023, UNEP and country members of the Network will conduct subregional workshops with teachers and civil society facilitators to support the integration of environmental education into formal and non-formal education systems.


About the Environmental Training Network for Latin America and the Caribbean
The Environmental Training Network for Latin America and the Caribbean is an intergovernmental platform of eighteen countries dedicated to strengthening the environmental education process, cooperation, training, and south-south cooperation.

UNEP was mandated in 1982 by the Forum of Ministers of Environment of Latin America and the Caribbean to hold the secretariat of the network, which is composed by national focal points from the Ministries of Environment (traditionally the directors of Environmental Education units). The Network supports its mission and work plan through its Fiduciary Trust Fund. The Trust Fund, established by the Forum of Minister’s approval in 1989, works through voluntary contributions of countries. To date, seventeen countries have contributed, with Ecuador and Uruguay currently as chair and co-chair countries of the network.

About the International Day of Education
24 January 2023 is the International Day of Education. The theme of this year’s International Day of Education reminds us that “to invest in people, we need to prioritize education.” Education is a fundamental human right, it provides opportunities to improve societies, economies, and unleashes people’s potential. Investment is critical to achieve the SDG 4.7 to ensure all learners acquire knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, and sustainable lifestyles.

The Environmental Education Resources Guide is being launched on the same week of the International Day of Education to support an interdisciplinary learning approach, which can facilitate a better relationship between people and nature.

About the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)
UNEP is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

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